According to St.Thérèse, (the little soul) who became one of the greatest saints, one can achieve holiness by having a childlike trust in God, while having a great love for God and others. This Lenten season, we can focus on these four tips to attain holiness.
Here are 4 tips for growing in holiness inspired by Her:
1. Just keep trying to become a saint.
She stated that “The good God does not demand more from you than good will…Soon, won over by your useless efforts, He will come down Himself and, taking you in His arms, He will carry you up.”
Hence, the key to growing in holiness is that we continue to try.
Even though we never see progress in ourselves, and even if we fall, get up every time and begin again, God is pleased with that. For if we are given the power to see our progress, we might think it is because of our own efforts that we grow in virtue. Thus, the inability to see our growth keeps us depending on God.
2. If you do not know how to love people? Begin by loving.
“I must seek out…the company of sisters who are the least agreeable to me…I want to be friendly to everybody to give joy to Jesus.” St. Thérèse
Very few of us know how to truly love people.
If we do not know how, we can start by doing little things such as smiling at a passerby, watching what we say, see or do, doing the dishes for your family, refraining from complaining. We can start with little acts of love, especially toward those whom we do not get along with, to teach us how. Other acts of love we can engage in are: almsgiving, visiting the sick, helping the poor, praying for the dead and other corporal works of mercy.
Hence, We learn to love by loving.
3. Your Prayer does not have to be complicated.
St.Thérèse said, “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”
There is an important need to live a life of prayer this season but God is a simple being.
He is always happy that we show up to spend time with Him. We do not have to do x, y, and z for it to be a good prayer. If you get distracted or it gets difficult, keep refocusing yourself and trust that it is still good, even if you do not get the warm-fuzzies. Pray, but let it not be complicated.
4. Do not focus on your faults but on loving God
“We have merely to love Him, without looking at ourselves, without examining our faults too much.”
God is not this judgmental figure waiting for us to mess up.
He looks on us with love as His children. Children try to please their parents, but sometimes they make mistakes and fall but they are still loved by their parents. How much more God with us. If we are trying to become holy, God does not reject us over our mistakes or fall. If we focus on God’s love and goodness, it will be harder for us to be discouraged.
St. Thérèse shows us that, while becoming a saint is not easy, it is equally so simple. We don’t have to be discouraged about anything be it weakness, failure, sin, or suffering. We can trust that God will make us saints if we take one small step forward, every day.